If you want to race go karts successfully you will need to choose the right go kart frame for your particular situation. And if you’re building your own, you’ll also need a high quality set of go kart frame plans. Choosing the wrong frame can lead to less control and more accidents on the track. Learn what makes a frame acceptable and how to avoid frames that will cause nothing but trouble.
A Go Kart Frame is Also Called a Chassis
A go kart frame, also called a chassis, is a very important component of a fast racing go kart. With a solid design it can help keep your tires glued to the track in tight corners when racing at break-neck speeds, and can prevent your car from spinning out of control while precisely maneuvering through razor sharp turns.
What is a go kart frame?
A go kart frame or chassis is attached to the axles and holds the body and motor of a vehicle. If you have ever seen a house being built you will know that the framing comes first. The walls, roof, doors, and everything else are attached to the framing. The go kart frame supports the entire structure and if it is weak the whole structure is weak. A strong go kart frame is needed to provide a solid vehicle that can withstand the strains that are placed on it when racing rough courses.
Go kart frames are welded together by torsion bars. Shorter bars make for stiffer frames while longer bars produce flexible frames. In the early days of karting frames were usually stiff, and without sufficient flexibility they broke down easily. Maneuvering well, especially through tight turns, requires a well-built and strong frame. A weaker go kart frame composed of cheaper parts can drift and slide through turns at any given moment and can also flip over entirely depending on the conditions. When you’re trying to hold your line the last thing you want is for your go kart to start sliding out of control.
The width of the rails is important….
One of the most important aspects of a sturdy go kart frame is the distance, or width, between the rear rails. Narrow widths, in the 24-inch range, will have less traction, especially through sharp turns. Wider widths, up to about 30 inches, have greater track bite which will allow you to take turns faster without losing traction. Wider rails provide the extra stability needed to remain in control instead of losing control.
Choose the Right Go Kart Frame for the Specific Go Kart Track
Choosing the right go kart frame is very important, but there’s more to it than just that. A frame that is great on one go kart track may be poor on another. Tracks are usually composed of dirt, concrete, or asphalt, but a chassis that works well on dirt may not work well on asphalt. Typically, a dirt track will require a chassis with wide back rails and narrow front rails while concrete and asphalt will be just the opposite, requiring wide fronts and narrow backs.
Learn the rules or else….
Additionally, there are many governing bodies in the sport of go karts and each body has their own unique set of rules. Get the information you need from the professionals at the track where you plan on racing. If you intend to race go karts on asphalt visit the nearest track and ask the owners where to find the best go kart frame. Without having the right information you can easily end up buying a go kart that you won’t be able to race.
High traction tires are a vital component if you want your frame to last any appreciable length of time when kart racing. Without proper tire traction the chassis will rattle, which can eventually lead to complete failure. Good traction adds stability to the vehicle which can give you added control on the track and a longer frame life.
What is the quickest way to destroy a frame?
Go kart frames take a considerable amount of punishment due to many factors that include hitting walls, racing over bumps on the track, or making constant sharp punishing turns. Experts usually recommend a yearly frame replacement although this depends a lot on the stiffness of the frame, how often you race, tire traction, what type of track you race on, and other factors. Racing with high traction tires, a stiff frame, and a high-horsepower engine will surely cause your frame to break sooner rather than later. And running your go kart with low traction tires will put a lot of extra stress on your chassis that will cut its life short. Get the right go kart frame for your specific track and you will have much greater racing success.